The new NASA mission for the Moon will bring into the scene a man and a woman, for the first time. The purpose of this mission will be to explore new sightings that have never been reached before, the south pole region. This area will have a harsh environment, to begin with, from frigid temperatures and entire parts filled with darkness to huge craters that engulf the land.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired measurements regarding the temperatures found in these vast craters. Temperatures drop to minus 388 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the water will be trapped into the soil by the ever-forming frost.
A study recently published in the Geophysical Research Letters Journal says that water can evade the uppermost layer of the moon. In the same study, we find out that the top layer would be thinner than the width of a red blood cell.
The Moon Might House More Water In Its Deepest Craters Than Initially Believed
“People think of some areas in these polar craters as trapping water, and that’s it, but there are solar wind particles and meteoroids hitting the surface, and they can drive reactions that typically occur at warmer surface temperatures. That’s something that’s not been emphasized.”, said William M. Farrell, a plasma physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Some insights were provided by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter regarding the craters, stating that their first layers are younger than the rest of the moon, and the intervention of outside objects did this.
“So every time you have one of these impacts, q very thin layer of ice grains is spread across the surface, exposed to the heat of the Sun and the space environment, and eventually sublimated or lost to other environment processes,” concluded Dana Hurley, planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Further analysis could provide more details and answers to many more questions regarding the state of the water on the moon.